|Publication number||US7089091 B2|
|Application number||US 11/118,318|
|Publication date||Aug 8, 2006|
|Filing date||May 2, 2005|
|Priority date||May 18, 2004|
|Also published as||CA2502624A1, CA2502624C, DE602005000521D1, DE602005000521T2, EP1598641A1, EP1598641B1, US20050261808|
|Publication number||11118318, 118318, US 7089091 B2, US 7089091B2, US-B2-7089091, US7089091 B2, US7089091B2|
|Inventors||Franck Artini, Edward Strongman|
|Original Assignee||Airbus France|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (7), Referenced by (17), Classifications (21), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention relates to a revision method and device for carrying out a lateral revision of a flight plan of an aircraft, as well as an automatic guidance system comprising such a revision device.
It is known that a flight plan generally comprises waypoints that the aircraft must overfly, information (altitude, speed, etc.) pertaining to these waypoints, as well as information relating to legs between the various waypoints. Such a flight plan makes it possible to construct a flight trajectory comprising said legs, generally rectilinear, which join up laterally with said waypoints. Said flight trajectory comprises a lateral trajectory defined in the horizontal plane and a vertical trajectory (flight profile) defined in the vertical plane.
It is known moreover that the revision of a flight plan can consist in deleting or adding waypoints, in modifying the position of waypoints or of characteristics (time, speed, altitude) pertaining to these waypoints or to said legs.
Although not exclusively, the present invention applies more particularly to the revision of a current flight plan (that is to say of a flight plan which is followed currently by the aircraft), when the aircraft is flying at least over a section of flight trajectory (in accordance with this flight plan) which is a low altitude flight trajectory. Such a low altitude flight trajectory allows the aircraft to follow as closely as possible the terrain overflown, in particular so as to avoid being pinpointed. The corresponding low altitude flight trajectory (or section of flight trajectory) is therefore situated at a predetermined height from the terrain, for example 500 feet (around 150 meters).
If the pilot revises the flight plan of the aircraft, during a flight along such a low altitude flight trajectory section, it may happen, after the revision of said flight plan, when the aircraft is flying along the new flight plan, that said aircraft is situated below the new flight trajectory, on account of an induced modification of the terrain profile used to determine this new flight trajectory (and because the maximum climb slopes that the aircraft can follow may be less than the slopes of the terrain to be overflown), and is no longer capable of joining up with the latter trajectory or of overflying the highest peaks situated under the new flight plan. Naturally, such a risk is not permissible.
Also, when during a flight along such a low altitude flight trajectory section, the pilot wants to carry out a revision of the flight plan, he is obliged:
Such a procedure is therefore very complex, and moreover requires that the aircraft be made to fly at a higher safety altitude and thus in particular makes it necessary to dispense with the terrain masking throughout the whole of the revision of said flight plan.
The present invention relates to a method of revision for carrying out a lateral revision of a current flight plan of an aircraft, which makes it possible to remedy the aforesaid drawbacks.
For this purpose, according to the invention, said method is noteworthy in that:
Thus, by virtue of the invention, the aircraft can continue to fly at low altitude during the revision of the flight plan. Specifically, as long as the aircraft has not reached said decision point, the pilot knows that he can activate a new flight plan (namely said auxiliary flight plan) in complete safety. This makes it possible to remedy the aforesaid drawbacks.
Furthermore, the present invention applies to all types of flight plans (and to all types of flight trajectories).
Preferably, the flight conditions taken into account in step b) comprise at least:
In a first embodiment, in step a), an auxiliary flight plan is determined by carrying out at least one of the following operations on said current flight plan:
Advantageously, said transition point is determined on the basis:
Preferably, said predetermined duration of computation corresponds to a maximum duration for determining (computing) an auxiliary flight plan. It therefore depends on the computational performance of the trajectory computer used.
Additionally, in a second embodiment, said auxiliary flight plan comprises at least one optional route.
The present invention also relates to a device for carrying out a lateral revision of a current flight plan (of an aircraft), comprising at least waypoints that the aircraft must overfly.
According to the invention, said device is noteworthy in that it comprises:
Advantageously, said first means comprise:
Furthermore, according to the invention, said third means may comprise a head-up display screen and/or a head-down display screen.
The present invention also relates to an automatic guidance system for an aircraft, of the type comprising:
According to the invention, said automatic guidance system is noteworthy in that said auxiliary source of information comprises a device of the above mentioned type, for carrying out a lateral revision of a current flight plan of the aircraft.
The figures of the appended drawing will elucidate the manner in which the invention may be embodied. In these figures, identical references designate similar elements.
The device 1 in accordance with the invention and represented diagrammatically in
To do this, said device 1 which is carried on board the aircraft A, in particular a military transport plane, comprises in standard fashion:
Such a flight plan PV generally comprises at least:
Such a flight plan PV makes it possible to construct a flight trajectory TO comprising:
It is considered that the aircraft A is guided along a current flight plan PV0 with a current lateral trajectory TL0 and a current vertical trajectory TV0, for example under IMC conditions (IMC standing for “instrument meteorological conditions”), that is to say under instrument flight meteorological conditions.
According to the invention, said device 1 moreover comprises:
Within the framework of the present invention, said auxiliary flight plan PV1 can comprise:
To do this, said means 6 which are connected by a link 12 to the central unit 3, comprise means 15 for inputting data and computation means 16, which are connected together by a link 17 and which allow an operator to modify the waypoints P1 of the current flight plan PV0, by carrying out the above operations; and
Furthermore, according to the invention, said display screen 11 is a head-down screen, for example a standard navigation screen, or a head-up screen, for example of HUD (“head up display”) type. Said display screen 11 can be a vertical screen or a horizontal screen.
The present invention applies more particularly to a flight at low altitude, at least along a section SV. Generally, a low altitude flight trajectory is determined so as to lie above a terrain profile which is situated (at a predetermined guard height HG) above the relief of the terrain overflown, so as to avoid any collision with this terrain. This is represented in
When the flight plan is revised, and hence when the current flight plan PV0 is modified, by replacing it for example with said auxiliary flight plan PV1, the lateral trajectory TL1 is modified and thus so also is the terrain profile PT1 situated below the relief 19B of the new terrain 18B overflown (represented in darker grey in
The device 1 in accordance with the invention makes it possible to remedy this drawback, by presenting the pilot with the decision point 8 which indicates the last position of the aircraft A along the current flight plan PV0 (vertical trajectory TV0), where the auxiliary flight plan PV1 can still be activated, so as to allow the aircraft A to overfly the terrain 18B in complete safety by following said auxiliary flight plan PV1 (virtual trajectory TV1), and to do so under the same flight conditions (for example thrust and speed presets, and a condition pertaining to a fault of an engine of the aircraft A) as those envisaged initially for said flight plan PV0.
It will be noted that if the auxiliary flight plan PV1 is activated, the aircraft A follows the vertical trajectory TV1 onward of the decision point 8 (where it therefore exits the vertical trajectory TV0). However, up to the point 20, the lateral trajectory is unchanged. The aircraft A does not branch laterally onto the new lateral trajectory TL1 until after said point 20 (
Naturally, within the framework of the present invention, when the revision of the flight plan relates to the consideration of an optional route (which is activatable by a pilot of the aircraft A with the aid of the means 13), said decision point 8 is also presented to the pilot, and therefore represents the last point on the current flight plan PV0, where the activation of this optional route may be carried out in complete safety.
Additionally, the central unit 3 determines, moreover, automatically a transition point 22 which indicates the downstream (in the direction of flight E) position closest to the aircraft A on said current flight plan PV0, with respect to the actual position 21 of the aircraft A, on the basis of which a lateral revision of said current flight plan PV0 may be taken into account, if this lateral revision is made at said actual position 21. Said means 9 automatically present said transition point 22 to a pilot of the aircraft A. Said transition point 22 lies (horizontally) at a distance D (depending on the recomputation time) from the actual position 21 of the aircraft A, as represented in
The central unit 3 determines said transition point 22, on the basis of information received in particular from said set 2 of information sources and especially on the basis of:
This predetermined duration of computation corresponds to the maximum duration for allowing the means 16 to determine the auxiliary flight plan PV1, that is to say to compute the corresponding flight trajectory (TV1 and TL1), for the most difficult possible conditions of computation (with in particular a rugged terrain profile PT1). This makes it possible to remedy the fact that an auxiliary flight plan PV1 is not directly available and therefore cannot be followed directly by the aircraft A, when a pilot carries out a lateral revision.
In a preferred embodiment, said device 1 in accordance with the invention forms part of an automatic guidance system SG represented diagrammatically in
Said automatic guidance system SG comprises in standard fashion:
According to the invention, said auxiliary source of information 23 comprises the aforesaid device 1 in accordance with the invention, for carrying out a lateral revision of a current flight plan PV0 of the aircraft A, said link 26B possibly comprising (or corresponding to) the link 5 of
It will be noted that said auxiliary source of information 23 (more precisely for example the central unit 3 of this source 23) determines the flight trajectory corresponding to a current flight plan (revised or otherwise) with the aid of predicted climb and descent performance. Moreover, it determines this flight trajectory TO in such a way that it hugs as closely as possible the configuration of the relief 19A, 19B of the terrain 18A, 18B overflown, over the low altitude flight section SV. Moreover, generally, said flight trajectory TO is determined by taking into account the fact that an engine is faulty (in such a way as to allow the aircraft A to continue to fly along said flight trajectory TO after a fault of an engine), the maximum continuous thrust and the speed preset.
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|U.S. Classification||701/3, 701/16, 701/26, 701/14, 701/23, 701/25, 701/414|
|International Classification||G05D1/06, G08G5/04, G01C23/00, G05D1/10|
|Cooperative Classification||G08G5/0086, G05D1/101, G08G5/0039, G01C23/00, G05D1/0646|
|European Classification||G05D1/10B, G01C23/00, G05D1/06B4, G08G5/00C4, G08G5/00F6|
|May 2, 2005||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: AIRBUS FRANCE, FRANCE
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:ARTINI, FRANCK;STRONGMAN,EDWARD;REEL/FRAME:016531/0707
Effective date: 20050113
|Feb 5, 2010||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|May 18, 2011||AS||Assignment|
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:AIRBUS FRANCE;REEL/FRAME:026298/0269
Effective date: 20090630
Owner name: AIRBUS OPERATIONS SAS, FRANCE
|Jan 30, 2014||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8